Zucca Ripieno (Stuffed Zucchini)

With zucchinis in full bloom and unbelievably cheap right now, I thought I would give you all a delicious, simple and low carb recipe for stuffed zucchini boats. This recipe was inspired by my favorite dish at a local Italian restaurant called Cafe Mezzanotte in Severna Park (and featured in What's Up? Annapolis), and helped me get out of my rut of only making "zoodles" with the summer harvest. The original recipe is not gluten free, so I swapped out the panko breadcrumbs for almond flour because stuffed zucchini is definitely not the same without the crispy topping! Feel free to add more vegetables and/or spices to your liking and enjoy this delicious Italian staple!

Zucca Ripieno (Stuffed Zucchini)

by Rebecca Bainbridge

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 2 large zucchini or 4 small zucchini
  • 1 lb ground beef or Italian sausage
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup cheese of choice, diced (I used goat cheddar)
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oilt
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (I used canned Trader Joe's)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Cut the ends off the zucchinis and slice in half lengthwise

Hollow out the zucchinis

Slice up the "innards" and place in a bowl for the stuffing

Place hollowed zucchini in a pan and drizzle with EVOO and salt and pepper

Bake in oven for 15 minutes

Remove and let cool

While zucchini is in oven, heat a frying pan with EVOO and add diced onion

When translucent, add ground meat and minced garlic cloves

When meat is halfway cooked, add diced mushrooms and chopped fresh basil

After everything is cooked through, drain fat and add to stuffing bowl

Add diced cheese, egg, salt and pepper to bowl

Mix all the ingredients

Stuff each zucchini half, drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with almond flour

Place in oven for 10-15 minutes

While zucchinis are cooking, heat up tomato sauce

Spoon tomato sauce over stuffed zucchinis

Enjoy!

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ETA: After you remove the hollowed zucchinis from the oven the first time around, increase the oven temp to 450F.

*Vegan/vegetarian option: replace egg with flax "egg", omit cheese, and use quinoa or rice to replace meat

Let me know in the comments if you made this recipe and what you think of it! 

What is your favorite way to eat zucchini?